Trick is balancing novelty with enough focus and attention to produce "flow".
By leaping from topic to topic, he forces his brain to give each problem far more attention than familiarity would allow. “Emerson did the same thing,” he said. “He had a lazy Susan with multiple projects on it. When he’d get bored, he would just spin it and start on something else.”
via The New Yorker
Jon Kalish for NPR
Countless kids have grown up with the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts or Campfire Girls, but for some families, the uniforms and outdoor focus of traditional Scouting groups don't appeal.
In recent months, Scoutlike groups that concentrate on technology and do-it-yourself projects have been sprouting up around the country. They're coed and, like traditional Scouting organizations, award patches to kids who master skills.
Ace Monster Toys is a hacker space in Oakland, Calif., where members share high-tech tools. Normally, grown-ups congregate there, working on electronics or woodworking projects. But two Sundays a month, the place is overrun by 50 kids and their parents for the gatherings of a group called Hacker Scouts.
The kids in Hacker Scouts are not breaking into computer networks. They make things with their hands, and at this particular meeting they are learning to solder and are building "judobots," small robots made out of wooden Popsicle sticks.
On this warm fall day, Alicia Davis, 10, is wearing a wool hat she knit herself. As her dad stands nearby, she sews an LED bracelet with conductive thread.
"I've been sewing on little felt pieces with this," Davis explains. "The battery will power the LEDs and light up. It's pretty cool."
Crafting, Computers And The Physical World
Chris Cook, one of the parents active in organizing the Hacker Scouts, serves as president of the hacker space where the Scouts meet. He says the group has expressly targeted kids between the ages of 8 to 14.
"It's old enough where they're ready to start developing skills, [but] they're not so old that they've already been set in their ways," Cook says, "and they're more interested in what their peer groups are doing."
"So, we felt it's the right kind of time to expose them to how to craft with their hands — how to take things from a computer and put them into the physical world," Cook says.
The Hacker Scouts don't wear uniforms, but soon they'll be able to earn something akin to merit badges, made by the kid-friendly DIY electronics company Adafruit Industries.
Badges range from "learn to solder," "aerial quadcopter" and "high-altitude balloon" badges to the "Dumpster-diving" badge — "for when you get dirty but get some free stuff," explains Adafruit founder Limor Fried.
The thought of a bunch of Hacker Scouts Dumpster-diving may be unsettling, but recycling and repurposing are big with hacker groups. Grace McFadden, 11, of Madison, Conn., recently repurposed juice cartons into the soles of a pair of felt slippers, earning her a "salvager badge" from DIY.org, a new website for kids.
"Right now, I really like making paper airplanes and origami," McFadden says. "I have a whole fleet of paper airplanes." She learned to make them, she says, using an app on her iPod and by looking online.
A Scouting Handbook For Young Hackers
There are now 32,000 kids registered with DIY.org, which plans to organize local clubs around the country. The website even has an animated anthem exhorting kids to "build, make, hack and grow."
The site's chief creative officer, Isaiah Saxon, says the group plans to create the digital equivalent of a Scouting handbook for mobile devices.
"We hope that people's smartphones are eventually the Swiss army knife of our movement," Saxon says. "And that you go out into the woods ... point your phone at a tree and peel it open [to] learn about the wood underneath."
Saxon also plans to offer visual guides and "amazing experiences on the fly through these powerful handheld computers," he says.
As these efforts take off online, the hacker Scout movement is also spreading around the country. Seattle now has a science-focused group called "Geek Scouts," and a couple of tribes — not troops — of "Maker Scouts" are being formed in Milwaukee and Charleston, S.C.
Jon Kalish is a Manhattan-based radio reporter and podcast producer. For links to radio docs, podcasts & DIY stories, visit http://jonkalish.tumblr.com.
"BUILD, MAKE, HACK, GROW"!!!
I *love* the idea of getting Sofia involved in a group like this when she's 7 or 8.
What can ShareMouse do for you?
ShareMouse allows you to remote control multiple Apple and Windows computers with the mouse and keyboard of any other computer.
Just move the mouse into the direction of the desired computer you wish to control
If the mouse cursor crosses the monitor border, you take control of the remote PC. If you move the mouse back to your own monitor, the remote control is disabled.
ShareMouse transmits any mouse movement and keyboard input over your existing Ethernet or Wireless LAN connection.
ShareMouse supports an unlimited number of computers and monitors. Each PC can remote control any other PC.
ShareMouse works cross platform with any combination of Windows and Apple Mac computers.
A comprehensive list of features is available on our website.
This little app just made my workday much more seamless. Love that my mac wireless keyboard and magic mouse now work across Macs and Windows (yes, I have multiple of each on my desk).
And love that there are portable versions. Synergy KM is an alternative software KM switch, but could not run or build on Windows without a Visual Studio install (which requires Admin rights), so that was a non-starter.
Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.
- DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
- Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
- Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
- Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
- DO NOT use the elevators.
- Stay there.
- Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
- Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
If in a moving vehicle
- Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
- Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If trapped under debris
- Do not light a match.
- Do not move about or kick up dust.
- Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
- Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
Last Modified: Wednesday, 11-Aug-2010 14:41:22 EDT
"Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway."
Looks like my reaction (to shelter in doorway to bathroom) was not the right one :-(. I should have just gone into a corner or under the kitchen table.
What if you could Google your own memories and recall details with perfect clarity? What if your iPhone could ensure you never forget to buy birthday gifts for the people you love? Can we trust our own recollections of past events? Will we all have digital assistants in the future?
These are just some of the questions discussed in this 30-minute audio interview with Sunil Vemuri. Sunil spent 2 years digitally recording his own life while he was a researcher at MIT, and went on to found reQall, a company whose product specializes in helping you remember what’s important as you go about your daily life, with a minimum of effort.
Click here to listen to the full MP3 interview. (Length 32:19, Size 31Mb).
From the MP3 interview: "we can only encode so much in our brains, and the gaps we fill in with plausible fiction and that plausible fiction makes us feel more comfortable"
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Looks like a cool service
Their very name “Adirondack”, a tribe in the mountains of upstate New York, means “bark eaters” in the Iroquois language.
Survivaltopics.com is a great resource for foraging and outdoorsmanship. The linked article about eating White Pine inner bark is good place to start.
Thanks for the link Tate!